That gray summer was spent buried
in fantasy novels beside my father’s grave.

It was rain in bitter heat, a whirlwind of pages
as my hands returned to oak, night lamp aglow. 

Always I end in a nestle of branches and words, 
longing to strip my faded jeans and unbathe, 

ride a dragon into goldenrod, triangular
wings swallowing the neutral sky–

so often I shovel terrain in my mouth,
wishing time erode the sediment

that builds cities in my body, 
skyscrapers in my throat.